'House,' '24' Lead Fox to Easy Win on Monday

Rash Report: Final Oscar Ratings: 36.3 Million Total Viewers

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MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- A night after the Sunday's salute to the big screen, it was back to the small screen -- and smaller ratings -- on Monday, as CBS ran reruns, which allowed Fox to repeat as an easy winner in Nielsen's ratings race.

'House' helped Fox win the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic on Monday night.
'House' helped Fox win the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic on Monday night. Credit: Fox
But hardly anything else on the small screen on Monday came close to Sunday's Academy Awards. Revised ratings out from Nielsen today indicate the 13% jump in total viewers to 36.3 million was matched in the demo, now a 12.1/29 in final Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. Conversely, the red carpet the winners stroll down had lower ratings than initially indicated, but the 7.2/19 is still better by 14% than last year. Barbara Walters' special slightly slipped compared to 2008, but it was down just a tenth of a ratings point to a 3.1/9. Maybe she should have interviewed surprise best-actor winner Sean Penn. But like most in Oscar pools, she chose Mickey Rourke.

On Monday night, Fox's "House" and "24" combined for an overall 4.6/12 rating and share in the ad-centric 18-to-49 demographic, well ahead of second place ABC (3.6/9), NBC (2.8/7), CBS (2.7/7) and the CW, which finished fifth with a .5/1.

"House" (5.5/15) and "24" (3.8/9) just about matched their season averages, while CBS sitcoms "The Big Bang Theory," "How I Met Your Mother" (2.7/7each) and "Two and a Half Men" (3.6/9) all fell by over 30%. "The New Adventures of Old Christine" was new in the 9:30 p.m. timeslot, replacing "Worst Week Ever." "Christine" had a better week by 19%, delivering a 2.5/6. Then, at 10 p.m. "CSI: Miami" was also a second showing, falling 44% to a 2.3/6.

(The CW also ran reruns, with "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill" mustering a 0.4/1 and 0.5/1, respectively.)

NBC ran original episodes, but repeated its recent trend of "Chuck" (2.3/6) and "Heroes" (3.4/8) falling to original episode series lows. "Medium," however, was just that, nearly matching its average with a 2.6/7.

As for ABC, Monday may not have had Sunday's glamour -- or ratings. But it did have some of the drama -- or melodrama, given it programmed three hours of reality TV. "The Bachelor" engaged 3.7/9 in the demo while "True Beauty" is an increasingly attractive companion piece to "The Bachelor," as "Beauty's" finale won its timeslot with a 3.2/9, which was up 10% from its season average.

Tuesday: It's a big night for reality -- the real kind, not the TV kind -- as President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress, which will be carried by numerous networks.
Wednesday: Then check out how we got in the mess the president is trying to get out of by watching "House of Cards," CNBC's documentary about the bubble's burst.

With citizens alternately hopeful about the new administration and fearful of, well, everything right now, ratings should be higher for tonight's address than for the most recent State of the Union addresses from Obama's presidential predecessor, George W. Bush.

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NOTE: All ratings based on adults 18-49. A share is a percentage of adults 18-49 who have their TV sets on at a given time. A rating is a percentage of all adults 18-49, whether or not their sets are turned on. For example, a 1.0 rating is 1% of the total U.S. adults 18-49 population with TVs. Ratings quoted in this column are based on live-plus-same-day unless otherwise noted. (Many ad deals have been negotiated on the basis of commercial-minute, live-plus-three-days viewing.)

John Rash is senior VP-director of media analysis for Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. For more, see rashreport.com.

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